There are quite a few things to do in Venice at night. And Venice by night is amazing, as the crowds of daytrippers are gone, which means that the city is quieter and much, much calmer. Which, in my opinion, is a win-win situation!
If you enjoy going clubbing after the sun has set, you might be a bit disappointed.
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Things to do in Venice at night
Watch the sunset before doing other activities in Venice at night
One of the first things to enjoy in Venice at night is the night actually beginning!
Find a spot in the town where you could see the sun go down, a.k.a., the sunset.
There are many places from which you can see the sunset, but some of the best ones are:
- Fondamenta delle Zattere – the promenade that runs along the southern waterfront
- Riva degli Schiavioni – the promenade that is between Piazza San Marco and the lagoon, just where the Bridge of Sighs is
- Rialto or Accademia bridge – the bridges are not just great for watching sunrises, but sunsets as well. And they look lovely when illuminated by the sunset!
Visit some of the best Venice tourist attractions after hours
There are tours available that let you visit some of the best places to see in Venice after hours, such as the Doge’s Palace and San Marco’s Basilica.
Obviously, you have to pay extra for these visits, but still, it seems like quite a cool option.
Enjoy the art and the décor in Palazzo Ducale and see the best of San Marco’s without anyone bothering you!
There’s even a tour where you can visit both the palace and basilica, not just one of them.
The best thing is that you can enjoy the sights without the enormous crowds that usually are there, so this is one of those things to do in Venice at night that you might enjoy even more in summer.
There’s also a VIP tour of both available!
And it’s really easy to visit the areas after dark if you’ve got a convenient place to stay.
Have an aperitivo and a snack
Dinner would be more obvious, right?
But, unlike many other places in the world, in Italy, dinner starts quite late.
You can expect the restaurants to open earlier at 7pm, which means that you get the food just before 8pm. For many people, myself included, that is a bit too late, as I’m already starving by that time.
That’s why I recommend having a snack, such as Aperol Spritz and cicchetti, before checking out how Venice by night looks.
And after some explorations, go for dinner!
My recommendation would be, though, to reserve a table – especially if you’re a bigger group or have a specific restaurant that you’d like to try. The places tend to get quite full.
Photograph Venice at night
There’s something magical about Venice by night.
I just like how the lights reflect in the canals, with gondolas and vaporettos going back and forth.
Related: Venice gets quite cool in the evenings so make sure to pack a jacket with you – among other things
The smaller streets with the little bridges look very romantic and, well, photogenic. See how peaceful Venice can be at night when most of the crowds disperse
So make sure to stroll around and enjoy the views that Venice, the city of love, offers you.
Don’t feel like just strolling through Venice at night and photographing everything? Well, why not combine the pleasant with the… pleasant? Try a food tour!
Trying different food in Venice – or the whole of Italy – is a must.
If you’d like someone to help you decide what to have (because the choice really is quite overwhelming), you can try going on a food tour.
Some of them run at night as well, which is a great thing if you’re looking for things to do in Venice at night.
Go on a ghost tour – one of the spookier things to do in Venice at night
This is actually one of those things to do in Venice at night that I regret not knowing about before, haha.
Basically, these are tours during which you walk through Venice and the guide tells you about legends, murders, and mysteries. Perfect for true crime fans, right?
Quite a few of them add wine and food tastings or bar hopping as well. Some cover only specific districts, such as Cannaregio or Poveglia.
You can choose between a private tour or a group one. They usually last around 1,5 hours.
Go to a bar or a club – not exactly such an easy thing to do
There are some bars, although they are rarely your typical dance clubs. If you really wish to party, the best idea would be to hop over to Mestre – the city that is on the mainland just by Venice.
On the weekends, you can try out the Lido, which is only a 15-minute vaporetto ride away from St Mark’s square. The only disco in Venice itself is the Piccolo Mondo Disco, located in the Dorsoduro district.
Or, if you enjoy a bit of live music, you can go to the Venice Jazz Club. Located in the Dorsoduro district, it’s a cosy club that can host up to 50 guests. The VJC quartet is the main band that plays in the Venice Jazz Club, but quite often there are guest acts as well.
The entrance is paid, of course. You can find more information on the Venice Jazz Club website.
Or visit the Skyline Rooftop Bar, which is located on the 8th floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel on Giudecca island. It has a pool, a bar (duh) and throws parties. Anyone can buy a ticket and attend! And the views from the top are quite amazing.
A gondola ride of one of the more expensive things to do in Venice, true.
But if you are like us, you might like to tick those popular items off your bucket list.
Having the gondola ride at night makes it that much more romantic!
We did a kind of at-night gondola ride when visiting Venice in November. Riding through the Grand Canal and seeing the Rialto Bridge and the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Salute all illuminated is quite an unforgettable experience.
…or a Catamaran or yacht ride at sunset
They let you enjoy Venice from the lagoon and come with drinks. Some even come with live music – it’s quite romantic, I’d say.
The Catamaran experience with drinks and music is not private, though. If you can spring for it (or have a bigger group of people), choose the yacht where it would just be you with your friends/family!
What to know about Venice at night
Is Venice safe at night?
Venice at night is as safe as any touristy city at night can be. If you exercise the normal safety measures, it’s quite safe, even as a solo female traveller.
Make sure to not go looking for trouble, and you’ll be safe! And maybe better not to walk around alone – it’s generally safer to walk in a company; not just in Venice, and keep track of your belongings.
Make a reservation in a restaurant
I already mentioned this but know that the best restaurants tend to get quite full, especially during weekends. It’s a good idea to make a reservation, especially if you’d like to try a specific place out. Just to be safe.
Have a map handy
It’s quite hard to orientate properly after the sun has gone down. The tiny streets and many bridges and canals in Venice can confuse pretty much anyone.
So make sure to have a map ready! You can download maps for offline use in Google maps or just use a good-old paper map, as the GPS tends to not work correctly in Venice.
And don’t forget to mark where your hotel is!
“Venice by night” means earlier than you might think
Night in Venice is more like Evening in Venice, to be honest.
Restaurants generally close by 10pm and bars – by 11pm.
All the attractions, even the night tours, are generally done by 9pm.
So, if you’d like to enjoy some proper nightlife in Venice, you better head over to the mainland, to Mestre. Just make sure to catch the last train around midnight – or wait until the service restarts around 5am.
If you’d like to stay out longer, visit Venice during some of the festivals
Whether it’s Carnivale at the beginning of the year or Redentore in July, or many many other festivals throughout the year, your chances of something happening later at night grow if there’s a festival.
Of course, a festival means higher prices for pretty much anything and a lot more people than usual, but still. Tradeoffs, you know?
Last thoughts about things to do in Venice at night…
There are quite a few things to do in Venice at night – this is not even a full list of them!
These are just the things that I really found interesting. And some of them are such that some people might not really think about them before visiting.
Although places in the city of love close quite early for other cities’ standards, Venice by night is still exceptional. You should definitely try and enjoy it if you have a chance.
Which thing to do in Venice did you add to your itinerary? Let me know in the comments!